Arsene Wenger had five prized possessions back in 2012 that he thought could lead Arsenal to future glory.
They were: Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The quintet of promising talent all signed long-term contracts together nine years ago, and they all enjoyed long spells with the Gunners, but to varying degrees of success.
Even in 2017, Wenger harped on about all but Jenkinson, insisting they could hold the key to future success.
"We have to keep them all," he said in April 2017. "We still have a group of young English players. We have Ramsey, we have Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Gibbs.
“All these players, we have to make decisions and manage to keep them together."
Of course, none of them are at the club anymore, and are enjoying careers that will soon be all over the world.
Arguably the player with the biggest potential, Wilshere showed glimpses of being a world class midfielder.
However, injury problems have several hampered the 29-year-old’s career, and he now finds himself in the Championship with Bournemouth.
Wilshere left Arsenal in 2018 when his contract expired, joining West Ham, but making just 19 appearances across two seasons.
It was an emotional farewell for Ramsey when he ended an 11-year stint at the Emirates in 2019.
Having not had his contract extended, the Wales midfielder joined Juventus, where he has failed to stand out.
Ramsey is now being linked with a return to the Premier League with various clubs, including the Gunners and Liverpool.
Having said he would be a “big blow” to lose, Wenger actually allowed Oxlade-Chamberlain to leave Arsenal that very summer in 2017.
The England international is now a Champions League and Premier League winner with Liverpool, so it’s fair to say he made the right move for his career.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has struggled a fair amount with injuries, but when fit, he remains one of the best midfielders in the country.
Despite only making 41 Premier League appearances, Jenkinson was kept on at Arsenal for an incredible eight years.
The right-back enjoyed decent loan spells at West Ham and Birmingham, but there is a reason he was not included in Wenger’s follow up comments of players that need to stay at Arsenal.
Now 29, Jenkinson finally seems to have found his level in the Championship with Nottingham Forest.
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One of a number of promising, young, English left-backs, Gibbs spent a few seasons as Arsenal’s first choice, but fell behind Nacho Monreal in the pecking order in the 2015/16 season.
Gibbs is still going with West Brom, having joined the Baggies in 2017, helping them achieve promotion from the Championship last season.
Earlier this month it was announced that Gibbs would join David Beckham’s Inter Miami franchise in the MLS at the end of the season.
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